Secrets to making successful decisions in life
By Bishop David Muriithi | May 1st 2022 | 4 min read
Life is largely made of choices, and success is a matter of making wise decisions. Australian preacher, Frank William Boreham says: “We make our decisions and then our decisions make us.” Every decision involves an element or degree of risk. Those who take the risk accomplish a lot in life. You can reduce the risk involved by making the right decisions.
From the book of Proverbs, we get some principles that we can inculcate in making successful decisions.
The first is inspiration - pray for God’s guidance. Get God’s perspective and do not depend on your wisdom. “A man is foolish to trust himself. But those who use God’s wisdom are safe” (Proverbs 28:26). “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding,” (Proverbs 2:6).
Second is information - get the facts right. Gather all the information you can concerning the issue to help you make the right decision. Knowledge is better than strength! “What a shame, how stupid, to decide before knowing the facts?” (Proverbs 18:13). “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool lays open his folly” (Proverbs 13:16).
Third is consultation - ask for advice. It is wise to learn from experience, but wiser to learn from the experience of others. Learn to ask questions. Many people do not ask questions because they do not want to appear ignorant. “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15). “The more advice you get, the more likely you are to win” (Proverbs 24:6).
Fourth is selection - set clear goals. You do not have time to do everything. Ensure you have a clear cut purpose so that you can take the risks involved. Sometimes frustration causes us to take foolish risks. You do not need to have it in your grasp; but you need to know what it is. “An intelligent man aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions” (Proverbs 17:24).
Fifth is evaluation - count the cost. To take a calculated risk, you need to ask yourself: Is this risk necessary? What is the cost in terms of money, time, energy, reputation, etc? Is the risk worth the cause? Will the benefits be greater than the costs involved? “It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy and afterward consider his vows” (Proverbs 20:25). Jesus said that no wise builder goes out and starts to build a tower without budgeting and considering how much it will cost.
Sixth is preparation - plan for problems and challenges. Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. He says ‘if’. This means it will go wrong. Count on it! Do not ignore problems. Instead, be wise and choose to meet them on your own terms and time by planning. Ask yourself: What can go wrong and what will happen if it does? This is not being negative. It is being sensible. “A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 22:3).
Seven is confrontation - face your fears. We hate to admit that we are afraid because we think fear is a sign of weakness. Fear is a sign that you are alive, human and real. Like any other emotion, fear has its purpose. One of its purposes is that it is a warning signal. The only person who is never afraid is a fool because he/she has lost touch with reality. You must always be aware of your surroundings and know that there are things in this world to be afraid of.
One of the greatest fears is that of rejection. What will people think? What if I fail? What if I embarrass myself? What if I do not meet their expectations? What if nobody likes me? This is a trap! “Fear of man is a dangerous trap but to trust in God means safety” (Proverbs 29:25). Face your fears by having courage and revering the Lord, which will give you confidence and security. Mark Twain says: “Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is moving ahead despite of your fear.”
Eight is initiation - go for it! There comes a point in your decision-making process where you must stop talking and start acting. You must begin. It is a point of commitment. Once you have decided it is worth the risk, go for it. Simon Peter is a case in point. When he saw Jesus walking on water, he asked him to call him. Jesus said, “Come!” He got out of the boat and started walking across. He was doing okay until he looked down (at his circumstances) and he started sinking.
If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. God never meant for you to live a life of safety. The only and ultimate security you can have is in Jesus Christ. To be fully alive means living on the edge by taking the risk that God wants you to take. Start the business, get the degree, follow that dream, develop that talent, go for ministry, etc.
Bishop David Muriithi, Founder & Overseer House of Grace International Ministries
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